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Kiwis want dog owners registered, not just dogs

In the wake of a number of serious dog attacks, a majority of New Zealanders want dog owners, not just their dogs, to be compulsorily registered.

Fifty-nine per cent of people polled back a call for registration of dog owners, supporting a call made by SPCA head Bob Kerridge in the Sunday Star-Times in March after the mauling of Japanese girl Sakurako Uehara in Murupara. The 7-year-old was bitten more than 100 times by four dogs.

Currently, it is a legal requirement for all dogs to be registered but dog owners do not have to be licensed or registered.

Auckland Council has a voluntary scheme where dog owners take a written test showing how much they know about handling and caring for dogs, and have a property inspection. If they pass they get a Responsible Dog Owner Licence and reduction in licensing fees. Wellington City Council has a similar approach.

The SPCA is calling for this type of owner-licensing to be compulsory across New Zealand.

An owner licence will ensure that a person has the knowledge and responsibility to care for and train a dog, said Kerridge. 

"The real value of licensing owners is that it will be a forced education of what their responsibilities are as a dog owner. We are aiming it at the owner rather than the dog." 

Site: http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/10032486/Kiwis-want-dog-owners-registered-not-just-dogs 

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    • Wow this is a fantastic idea! They should have this everywhere. Problems would be greatly reduced. Hope it passes.
      • I think it is a great Idea to go after owners. Owner are more the problem than any dog. Bad or irresponsible owner are the reason behind bad dog behaviors.
        • There is danger in this - who determines the minimum "knowledge" requried for someone to own a dog? Are all breed behaviors the same? Do all dogs in a breed behave the same. I think it is a silly idea actually and it just another way the the government will squash the individual by making rules that no one can properly comply with. So, let the society where the dog owner lives regulate the behaviors of the owners and their dogs. In my neighbor hood - when someone's dog comes on my property - I warn them once only to control/contain/restrick their dog from coming back. If it comes back and I see it - It will not come back again.
          I am all about responsible ownership - but keep the government out of it.
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